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Pamina, Who Are You?

Pamina is the daughter of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute. In this blogpost you will learn more about Pamina and her role in perhaps Mozart’s most famous opera.

What you will read in this article:

Pamina Briefly Introduced

Pamina is a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. She is a princess and the daughter of the Queen of the Night.

At the beginning of The Magic Flute, Pamina is not with her mother, but in the power of Sarastro, the Queen of the Night’s antagonist. When Pamina tries to escape from Sarastro’s kingdom, she is held back by Monostatos, a servant of Sarastro. But fortunately, help rushes in….

Liberation With Obstacles

…because Pamina’s mother, the Queen of the Night, has commissioned Prince Tamino to rescue Pamina. But Tamino does not set out on this mission alone – the bird catcher Papageno is also part of the party.

Papageno succeeds in entering Sarastro’s castle unnoticed and driving Monostatos away. But it takes a while before Pamina is finally freed, for she is destined for higher things.

Pamina's Role in the Magic Flute

The central theme of The Magic Flute, as is often the case in opera, is love. Tamino wants to save Pamina primarily because he fell in love with her when he first saw a picture of her.

But there is a second central theme of The Magic Flute, which may be the reason this piece has been one of the most performed operas ever for centuries: it’s about becoming a better person by overcoming trials. (If you’re already a die-hard opera pro, you’ll recognize an exciting parallel to Wagner’s Parsifal here…).

After all, it would be kind of boring if the love between Tamino and Pamina were just possible. Instead, Tamino must pass difficult tests to prove himself worthy of love for Pamina.

It is one of these tests in which Pamina makes her greatest appearance. Tamino must remain silent – no matter what happens. Pamina, interpreting Tamino’s silence as a rejection, thinks that Tamino no longer loves her. She gives expression to her despair in her aria:

(Ekaterina Sadovnikova, Teatro La Fenice)

Tamino and Pamina then even master the final test together. The Magic Flute ends with the marriage of Tamino and Pamina.

Jonathan Stark – Conductor
Jonathan Stark – Conductor

Hello! I'm Jonathan Stark. As a conductor, it is important to me that visits to concerts and operas leave a lasting impression on the audience. Background knowledge helps to achieve this. That's why I blog here about key works of classical music, about composers, about opera and much more that happens in the exciting world of music.

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